Science and Technology News

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Tools for Communications Centers Available Improving real-time information sharing in public safety

The IJIS Institute , a nonprofit organization that focuses on mission-critical information sharing for justice, public safety, and homeland security, announces the release of the Guide to Information Sharing and Data Interoperability for Local Communication Centers and the Priority Data Exchanges for Local Communication Centers. Both documents are now available at http://www.ijis.org/_programs/public_safety.html.

The Guide to Information Sharing and Data Interoperability for Local Communication Centers provides managers of public safety communications centers, including Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) or any agencies that answer emergency calls, with an overview of the issues and opportunities surrounding data interoperability. It provides practical insights and action‐oriented advice for managers looking to enhance data interoperability in their facilities.

The aim of the Priority Data Exchanges for Local Communication Centers document is to provide an overview of high-value information exchanges that are relevant to these centers. Communications center directors and other planners may use this document to assess the current strengths, weaknesses, and growth potential of their facilities. In addition, this document provides a window into the future of data exchange in the communications center. Many of the exchanges described in this document are not yet in wide use, if at all. Directors and planners can use this information to understand emerging trends in data interoperability and to plan for future growth.

Both documents were produced by the Association of Public-Safety Communication Officials (APCO) International and IJIS Institute Public Safety Data Interoperability (PSDI) Project. The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is focused on advancing open, standards-based information sharing to support the emergency communications domains, including law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services (EMS), and related homeland security domains. The results of this project will set the foundation for future projects to create high-value, first responder National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) exchanges.

Paul Wormeli, executive director of the IJIS Institute, noted, “These two documents will serve as valuable tools to help public safety communications centers fully realize the advantages and benefits of information sharing, which will ultimately result in incredible time and cost savings in public safety systems throughout the nation.”

Richard Mirgon, president of APCO International, said, “The goal of this initial project is to improve real-time information sharing capabilities in the emergency response environment. The program aims to define a strategy for the adoption and use of NIEM as the standard for sharing critical information between emergency communications centers and public safety agencies, within and across jurisdictions, and with other relevant emergency management and intelligence domains of the federal government.”

To download the documents, and for information on the PSDI Project, visit http://www.ijis.org/_programs/public_safety.html.

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